As a rideshare driver, you are self-employed, which means you are a
small-business owner. You’ll pay self-employment taxes in addition
to your regular income taxes. Learn how to maximize your driving
income and file taxes correctly.
Pay Taxes As You Go
What to Bring to File Your Tax Return
Tax deductions (like the mileage
deduction) can reduce your taxes.
Driving is expensive. Track expenses like Uber
and Lyft fees to lower your taxes.
What can be deducted? See the deduction
checklist on the other side of this page.
Don’t rely on Uber and Lyft to track your
deductions (including mileage). They
don’t track everything! Keep records
and save receipts in case you are
audited by the IRS.
Your taxes are NOT automatically taken
out of your income. Make payments
throughout the year to avoid a penalty or
save for tax time.
Who’s required to pay taxes throughout the year? Anyone
who owes over $1,000 in taxes, around $5,000 in self-employment
How much should I pay? If you were self-employed last calendar
year, you must pay 100% of last year’s taxes (see last year’s Form
1040). Otherwise, use the Estimated Tax Payments Calculator
Most people divide the amount into quarterly payments.
Can’t pay the full amount? Pay what you can or
save your money throughout the year.
How to pay: You can pay the IRS online, by phone,
or by mail.
If you make
over $400 in self-
you must file.
What should I know? There are two business tax
forms (Schedule C and Schedule SE) that you must
file with your taxes. Find your income info on your
driver dashboard or on your Form 1099-K and Form 1099-
MISC. You are required to file even if you don’t receive Form 1099.
You may qualify for free tax help. Visit MyFreeTaxes.com and
irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep/ for more information.
F 1099-K and 1099-MISC: Find these on your
dashboard. Sometimes, Uber and Lyft mail them.
F Access to or printouts of your Uber or Lyft
F Expenses report: A list of expenses to claim as
F Receipts, invoices, and credit statements
F Mileage log
Tax Deduction Checklist
Which of the following do you spend
money on for your driving job?
These expenses must be purely for
business reasons. If you only use a
portion for business, deduct that
percentage of the cost.
F Mileage based on the standard
mileage rate (gas, insurance, and car
maintenance are already included)
F Tolls and Parking
*Note: This checklist is for standard
mileage. For information on actual car
expenses, visit RideShareTaxHelp.com
F Uber and Lyft fees and commissions
F Snacks and refreshments for
F Cost of phone (deduct the portion
used for business)
F Phone service plan (deduct the
portion used for business)
F Accessories, such as chargers, cables,
F Mileage tracking software
F Electronic toll transponder
F Floor mats
F Car tool kit
F First aid kit
F Tire inflator and pressure gauge
F Portable battery jump pack
F Flashlights and flares
F Business taxes and licenses
Fill out any expenses you claim as a tax
deduction in the expenses section of
Understanding the Mileage Deduction
The mileage deduction will likely be your largest tax deduction.
It’s important to carefully track your miles because the IRS
requires a mileage log.
Uber and Lyft track some, but not all of your driving miles. Track
your own miles, so you can deduct every dollar you qualify for.
How to Track
There are two ways to track your mileage deduction.
1. Standard mileage. Multiply your business miles driven by the
standard rate (58 cents in 2019). This rate includes driving costs,
gas, repairs/maintenance, and depreciation. Do NOT deduct these
costs separately. This is the more common and easiest option.
2. Actual car and truck expenses. Track your driving expenses
yourself. Actual car and truck expenses are difficult to track, so
seek professional tax help.
Apps and tools: You can download an app that tracks your
mileage. Two popular apps are Stride Tax (free) and MileIQ ($5.99
billed monthly). You can also use a spreadsheet or print a mileage
log to keep in your car.
Which Expenses are Deductible?
Uber and Lyft drivers are small business owners. As business owners, you can take tax deductions for your driving
expenses that can substantially lower your taxes. Carefully track deductions yourself in case the IRS chooses to
audit your taxes.
Which Miles Count
These miles count for the mileage deduction:
These miles DON’T count:
Any miles driven with a passenger in the car or on
the way to picking up a passenger (between trips).
Any miles driven to aid in your driving business.
For example, if you drive to the store to pick up car
Any driving you do for personal reasons cannot be
counted under business miles. For example, if you
drive to grab lunch during the day.
Your first and last ride of the day to and from your
home are your “commute” to work and cannot be
counted as business miles.